recently i went to a screening of “wavelength” (michael snow, 1967) at the tiff bell lightbox here in toronto. after the film, michael snow and two visiting professors were discussing the importance of seeing a film how it’s intended to be seen: in a theater. the professor noted how most of his students, before taking his class, have “never seen an important film projected.”
while it’s hard to tell if his statement was just arrogant or not (considering the class assumptions it makes, for one), i started thinking about films i have seen in the theater and how that has impacted my viewing of the film. i think it’s important to realize what context you’ve seen a film in, because i do believe it can alter your opinion on what you’re seeing to a certain degree.
i grew up in a small town with no movie theatre to its name, so it was difficult growing up to see anything beyond blockbusters (which i have included here – at least what i can remember – because they are part of my cinema-going experience). toronto has been a wonderful place to live because i’ve been able to do some catching up, and that “wavelength” screening was only the beginning. now i’m making up for lost time, though i still catch a silly movie here and there as well.
some highlights in recent years have been retrospectives of gregg araki, kelly reichardt, terrence malick, and joao pedro rodrigues, and yo la tengo performing their score for 8 jean painleve films live to 35mm archival prints.Read less